The Tampa Bay Devil Rays want to enjoy this feeling as long as they can.
The team with the lowest-paid and youngest roster in the majors can boast of something else: a 3-0 record.
Coming off an AL-leading 100 losses last year, the surprising Devil Rays completed a season-opening sweep by defeating Detroit 9-2 on Thursday. Pinch-hitter Randy Winn had a grand slam, and Ben Grieve, Brent Abernathy and Chris Gomez also homered at Tropicana Field.
"It's early, but we're playing good," manager Hal McRae said. "We need to continue to come out and play the way we played in the first three ballgames."
"It's a long haul and you have to play consistent baseball in order to sustain the momentum that we seem to be gathering. But it takes more than three games to really feel like you're playing well and you have momentum," he said.
In other AL games, New York beat Baltimore 4-1, Texas stopped Oakland 7-5 and Toronto downed Minnesota 7-2.
The Devil Rays moved three games over .500 for the first time since April 24, 1999 -- 19 games into their second season. This marks the first time they've been in first place in the AL East after opening day.
Tampa Bay became only the seventh team to ever start 3-0 after losing 100 games the previous season. The others to do it were the 1905 Philadelphia Phillies, 1906 Brooklyn Dodgers, 1929 Boston Braves, 1952 St. Louis Browns, 1971 Chicago White Sox and 1994 New York Mets.
"I don't know what we can do. I'm just happy we're playing well now," McRae said.
Winning pitcher Ryan Rupe held the Tigers to three hits in seven shutout innings.
On Friday, the Devil Rays were to play at New York in the Yankees' home opener.
"No, I don't think they're stressing," Rupe said of the AL champions.
Texas ended Oakland's 20-game home winning streak, holding on in the ninth behind struggling John Rocker.
The Athletics had not lost at the Coliseum in the regular season since last Aug. 24 against Detroit, though the Yankees beat them there in the playoffs. Oakland's string was the fifth-longest in the majors since 1901.
The Rangers averted a four-game sweep to start the season. Rocker made his first appearance for Texas, giving up a three-run homer to rookie Carlos Pena in the ninth and later retiring David Justice and Miguel Tejada with two runners on base to end it. Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pair of pitches and got into a staredown with A's starter Cory Lidle.
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